Kyrie Irving’s near triple-double Friday is even more impressive when you consider he did it on an empty stomach.
Following the Nets’ 109-104 win over the Celtics, Irving confirmed he’s taking part in Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. During Ramadan, practicing Muslims will not eat or drink between dawn and sunset.
“I’m taking part in Ramadan with my Muslim brothers and sisters,” Irving said. “It’s been an adjustment. I’m committed to my service to God, Allah, and then continuing on with whatever I’m guided with.”
Irving dropped 15 points to go along with 11 assists and nine rebounds Friday night. The Nets were short-handed, playing without James Harden and Kevin Durant. Jaylen Brown missed his third consecutive game for the Celtics.
Though Irving put up strong counting stats, he struggled at times, only shooting 4-of-19 from the floor. The Nets shot just 30 percent in the third quarter.
Still, the Celtics put forth a sloppy effort — reminiscent of their loss Monday against the Bulls. They turned the ball over 19 times.
“It obviously feels like at times, myself included, we kind of shot ourselves in the foot,” Tatum said after the game, via the Boston Globe. “In a game where their best player don’t shoot well and we’re coming back at the end of the game and give ourselves a chance. I know there’s a lot of plays and possessions we wish we had back.”
Last month, Irving scored 40 points in Brooklyn’s win over Boston. He missed a string of games earlier this season for undefined personal reasons, but has played terrifically since returning, averaging 27.1 points per game.
Irving also missed the Nets’ game April 13, one day after the start of Ramadan. Incredibly, he’s averaged 24 points and 8.5 assists per contest over the last two weeks.
Prior to Friday, Irving’s dropped some hints about his apparent conversion to Islam. On April 7, he said in an interview he was “grateful to Allah” for allowing him to come and on the court and play.
He’s certainly playing like someone who’s fueled by a higher power.
“I’m just really blessed and grateful to be taking part in this,” Irving said.